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Why does school mean four walls, one teacher, and 20 students? Ever had an idea for how to reinvent a school from the ground up? In just a few weeks, Education Entrepreneurs will host a panel at SXSWEdu that will discuss how to design schools of the future that create opportunities for students and teachers to thrive. Personalized learning and competency-based education will be covered, as well as a framework for rethinking school infrastructure and specific next steps to begin the process of redesigning a school. Our panel involves an exciting line-up of educators, technologists, school founders, funders, and researchers. Continue reading below to get a closer look at who they are, checkout the panel location and time, and see the full line-up of Education Entrepreneurs events at SXSWEdu.

Jonathan Tiongco 

What do you do for work?

LA_JUDGE_JonathanTiongco-1406129944[1]I am the Director of Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation (BLAST) implementation for Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a charter management organization serving 26 schools and over 11,000 students in Los Angeles, California. I oversee our portfolio of blended learning schools, which includes blended learning pilots, full-school conversions, and a Next Generation Learning Challenges grantee school.

What do you do for fun?

My wife and I live in Downtown Los Angeles with our two children, Madelyn and Miles. We absolutely love Los Angeles and try to enjoy all that the city has to offer, including all of the sporting events, public parks, library programming, and of course, our city’s amazing culinary scene. Because of this love for our city, we own and operate a Los Angeles-based food tour company called Six Taste where we take guests through nine different neighborhoods of Los Angeles, learning about the history, culture, and cuisine of these areas. Aside from this, we love to travel, dance, and hang out with our family and friends.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Change management and gaining buy-in from all stakeholders. For many of my colleagues, they have never worked in or experienced education in a blended learning environment. My challenge, which I love, is getting all of my team members to believe in the work that we’re doing and how it can make a positive impact on our students to better prepare them for college and career.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Supporting principals and teachers through ongoing professional development, mentorship, and coaching. Our principals and teachers are the ones doing the really amazing work of educating our children, so whatever I can do to support them is very rewarding for me.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSWEdu?

Practical ideas and strategies for going blended in their school contexts.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

An unlimited passport allowing students to “travel” and learn about all of the wonderful people, places, and things that they’re passionate about at their own time, path, and pace.

 

Christine Ortiz

C086What do you do for work?

Currently, I’m a student in the Ed.L.D. program at Harvard.

What do you do for fun?

My favorite thing to do is just spending quality time with cool people. I enjoy playing poker, dancing and snowboarding now that I’m up north again. Does organizing events (like Startup Weekend Education) and coaching startups count?

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Being in school and not “doing” is super hard for me, but something I know I need to do right now to be able to really impact the sector in the future.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Being around really passionate, intelligent people with such a diverse set of experiences and points of view is a dream come true.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSWEdu?

How possible (not easy, but definitely possible) it is to take a vision you have for education and make it a reality.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

A real life choose-your-own-adventure book.

Benjamin Kutylo

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - BK (32)What do you do for work?

I lead the Chicago Public Education Fund’s Innovation Portfolio, which is focused on empowering and enabling Chicago educators to redesign schools and classrooms to better meet the needs of each student. More specifically, I do the following:

  • Develop and launch programs that offer educators opportunities to rethink schools at various levels of depth and scale.

  • Make seed investments in other organizations to build and strengthen the ecosystem in Chicago to support innovation in education

  • Provide strategic consulting to district leadership and other Chicago-based organizations to create policies and strategies to support great educators in innovating.

What do you do for fun?

I’m an obsessed fly fisherman!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Navigating the many complexities and competing forces in a huge city and district to accomplish our objectives.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with great principals, teachers and students and giving them time, space, guidance, support and some resources to develop solutions to the challenges they face.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSW Edu?

The great work that Chicago educators are doing to redesign public schools of all types and the growing innovation movement in the nation’s third largest district.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

A place where the holistic needs of every child are met by educators and the school community effectively, efficiently and sustainably.

Check here for the full listing of SXSWEdu events that Education Entrepreneurs and its Community Leaders will be hosting. 


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Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Mandela Schumacher-Hodge
(@MandelaSH) A former public school teacher, education policy researcher, and PhD candidate, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge co-founded Tioki, the “The LinkedIn for Educators,” in 2011. Funded by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12